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Cultivating interaction ubiquity at work

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There is limited debate on what “ubiquity” in ubiquitous computing implies, in particular in regard to technological affordances connecting people. The aim of this article is to explore the question: What is the role of technologically embedded assumptions in the cultivation of interaction ubiquity at work? Distinguishing between the embedded support for managing ongoing interaction relationships—as opposed to a series of interaction encounters—and the support for prioritizing interactions—as opposed to priorities per se—yields four analytical categories of affordances: connectors, filters, mediators, and coordinators. These four categories are illustrated through four case studies of mobile working. The author argues that successful cultivation of interaction ubiquity at work relies critically on a portfolio approach wherein the technology is seen as playing a more active role in the management of interaction beyond the simple standardized technical connection.

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